How To Handle Social Anxiety Disorder In Teenagers ?

Handle Social Anxiety Disorder

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Is your teen afraid in speaking in front of a crowd? Do you feel he is not interacting with his friends and wants to stay aloof from them?

Teenagers suffer from anxiety related issues when it comes to addressing a group of people or performing in front of a large audience. If the feeling of anxiety extends for a longer period of time and disrupts your teen’s normal behavioral pattern, then there is a chance that he might be suffering from a disorder.

[ Read: Teenage Behaviour ]

Symptoms Of Social Anxiety Disorder In Teenagers

Just like in case of other disorders, the symptoms are the first clue to look for in order to detect the problem at the earliest. Your teen will exhibit both physical and emotional symptoms that you can identify at the earlier stages to address the problem better.

Physical Symptoms:

These symptoms are easy to detect as they are clearly visible to you. If your teen shows any or more of the following symptoms before going to a social event then you

may take it in consideration that he is suffering from social anxiety disorder.

1. Diarrhea:

This is one symptom which is surely easy to detect as your teen starts suffering from loose motions just before going to any social event.

2. Intense Sweating:

Your child keeps sweating tremendously even when the weather is cold. This is a red flag if exhibited just before going to the event or when your teen is already at the event.

3. Cold Hands:

Your teen’s hands are unusually cold or damp which are otherwise quite normal. Cold hands are a major sign, when your body experiences mental stress.

[ Read: Teenage Stress ]

4. Trembling:

Generally this symptom is seen in teenagers where the intensity of the disorder is heightened. If your teen starts trembling even at the mention of going to any social event then he is definitely suffering from anxiety.

Emotional Symptoms:

Symptoms due to emotional upsurge are not easy to detect. There are chances when your teenager might not show any physical symptoms until the intensity of the disorder is increased to a greater extent. Look for the below emotional symptoms to understand you’re his/her state of mind.

1. Fear:

Your teen is fearful while doing even a simple work like asking for a glass of water to someone. He even finds difficult to cope up with the daily interactions.

2. Consciousness:

You may find your teen engaged in front of the mirror most of the time. This indicates he is conscious about his image and wants to look better in social gatherings. This might imply sing unwanted measures to enhance looks like piercing, tattooing, etc.

3. Hiding:

Check for instances when your teenager always hangs in the background as “nobody”. Trying to hide from a group or gathering and making efforts to stay away from the attention.

4. Low Self Esteem:

Your teen will constantly keep asking you what they shouldn’t say or do which might make them look stupid. This happens mostly due to the lack of self esteem.

5. Avoiding Regular Activities:

Regular activities like going to school are also strongly avoided by your teen. He might do anything to avoid such activities.

Effects Of Social Anxiety Disorder In Teenagers:

Social anxiety disorder can cause serious issues in your teen’s life if not treated properly. Your teen can mess up with inner self esteem, low academic results and in some extreme cases even resort to committing suicide. You cannot overlook even the simple facts related to the disorder.

Treatment For Social Anxiety In Teenagers:

Social anxiety disorder is difficult to detect in its early stages. However, like many other disorders if the condition is detected as soon as possible it becomes easy to cure. The following are a few treatments which can help treat social anxiety disorder in teens:

1. Psychotherapy:

The exposure therapy is one of the major components of this treatment, where your teen is initially made to understand his fears and then taught simple relaxation techniques to apply while dealing with the fear.

2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):

Out of all the therapies this one is known to be the most effective. CBT has three parts.

  • Your teen will be trained to control physical symptoms through breathing exercises or relaxation techniques.
  • Techniques will be taught to challenge negative thoughts with more balanced and positive views.
  • Your teen will be encouraged to face his fear(s) gradually instead of avoiding the situation completely.

Apart from all this, there are medicines which will help in controlling the disorder. Keeping a watch on your child’s behavior is the best way to tackle the problem at its onset.

Hope our exhaustive take on social anxiety disorder helps you find solutions. Do share your experiences with us in the comment section below:

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